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Can't we remove the labels?

I'm so tired of the brash labeling that has been going on in the Presidential race.  I think that this type of thing is one reason why we all get so tired of the long election cycle.  Real debates of the issues would be worth having, even over a long cycle.  But, the labeling is very divisive.  One thing I really want to see happen is the country come together to solve our problems.  Divisive labeling defeats that purpose.

Does anyone really believe that Barack Obama is a terrorist because he knows Bill Ayers?  There is no doubt that their paths crossed, but only 30 years after Ayers bombed anything.  I'm not defending Ayers's tactics in the 60s, but he had obviously cleaned up his act enough for the Annenbergs.  This issue is only being harped upon to get the words Obama and terrorist in the same sentence.

Although she apologized for it, why would Sarah Palin suggest that some parts of the country are more 'pro-America' than others?  That sentiment wasn't an isolated mistake.  One of McCain's aides also talked about Virginia vs. 'real Virginia.'  Do you really think that there are any parts of this country that aren't 'real' Americans or 'pro-America?  Can anyone say that Obama isn't pro-America?

Most recently there is the socialist label.  You may not agree with Obama's tax plan.  You may not like that he's going to raise taxes on higher wage earners in order to lower taxes and refund payroll taxes for lower wage earners.  But, that's a shift in the progressive tax scheme, not socialism.  I don't think anyone in power in Washington is a socialist, even those reluctantly having the US government buy stakes in our troubled financial institutions.

I realize that these are all labels thrown out by the McCain campaign.  I'd be happy to respond to labels tossed out by Obama if people can point them out in the comments.

For a humorous view of the label game, check out last night's Daily Show (and here)

 

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http://newzeal.blogspot.com/2008/10/obama-file-41-obama-was-new-party.html

Copy of the "NEW PARTY" publication from 1996 and specifics on Obama. No problem that he was, but telling that the campaign denys this.

Pointing out Bernie Sanders clarifys that there is someone in power in Washington that is a registered socialist.

As for Obama, he did have to change his tax plan within the last week because people did not like what it represented. To avoid the charge that his "taxcut" was "welfare" to non-working Americans and to the 40% who do not pay any federal income taxes, the Obama campaign added the payroll requirement this week. In the primary, he was for having the payroll tax never cap out and continue right on up past the current cap of about $105k. Only after scrutiny from Clinton, did Obama add the idea of having it restart at $250k. The payroll tax is also matched by the employer and is a killer for small business.

Obama's comment about "spreading the wealth" to Joe in Ohio reinforced the socialist perception. Obama's comment during a primary debate was to say that increasing the capital gains tax is a "fairness" issue; however, as Charlie Gibson pointed out it results in lower fed tax revenue to support the government proposals he wants. Obama said he would study it.

The New Party is an interesting activist group for sure and part of the DSA.

No doubt that Bernie Sanders considers himself to be a Socialist. Not sure what this means regarding Obama.

As for the New Party, this is the first I heard of that. I did some quick research, and this seems to me to be more of a social democratic party, focused on being pro-labor and very progressive. Not sure that they were trying to replace capitalism with socialism. In any event, I don't see any evidence that Obama is trying to bring socialism to the US economic system (beyond what is being done now with the US equity positions in financial institutions).

To your question about socialists:

1) Bernie Sanders, US Senator from Vermont is a Socialist, member of Socialist Party and caucuses with the Democrats.

2) Barack Obama was a member of the "New Party" in 1996 which is a socialist party. The party was pleased to highlight to their membership their success when he won the State Senate seat in IL. He had minor competition in general election since he eliminate the four Democrat candidates from being on the ballot because of technicalities. Here is one reference to that: http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2008/10/021724.php

There is nothing wrong with being a socialist. However, the philosophy has failed everywhere it has been attempted and is counter to what motivates human behavior to excel, innovate, and risk take.

Don't confuse lack of support for our government's actions with hatred of America. Do you think that the anti-war protesters in the Vietnam era hated America? Or, just hated the war?

With that said, I can't defend the actions of some of the people in those photos. The nice guy in me would call them ignorant. But, many of them don't realize how lucky they are that they live in a country where they can act so idiotic. Nevertheless, I think that the number of people who are 'anti-America' is very, very small. And, it certainly isn't a whole region of the country or of a state.

I disagree on the socialism. No one is espousing that we be egalitarian. Instead, it is about how progressive or regressive the tax structure should be. I am sure that I am not the only VC-type investor who agrees with a progressive tax structure. After all, even Warren Buffett supports Obama.

But, I do think that tax structure is a very valid point to debate. Let's just do it without such emotionally charged labels.

You're purposefully mis-understanding the Ayers/Wright/Pfledger/Rezko/Farakhan issues. No one has claimed Obama is a terrorist. Or that he's a hate-filled preacher. What is claimed is that Obama lacks serious judgment by maintaining long-term (multi-year) in-depth relationships with people who clearly espouse racism, hatred, divisiveness, terrorism and hatred of their own country. And that Obama continuously lies about his relationships when questioned.

And their is a serious amount of hatred for this country. Not only from Ayers, who reiterated his hatred and desire to bomb on 9/11/2001 - but from many common people. In Berkeley, CA, their are plenty of people who proudly proclaim their visceral hatred of their own country. Checkout the photos, videos and captions of this 21 Jun 08 Marine Recruiting Office protest at ZombieTime http://www.zombietime.com/marines_protest_berkeley_6-21-08. (There are many other examples at the site).

Most military personnel believe that serving your country is the highest honor and sacrifice available to those who love this country. Obama has embraced this principle as well. Yet in Berkeley, San Francisco, and Santa Cruz, recruiting for the military is so hated that the local government actively thwarts any attempt. And this activity is not limited to the left coast. Check out the violent protests in Pittsburgh, PA, against the recruiters and the military in general.

Is it fair to use "pro-America" and "anti-America" labels? I think so. How about the socialist label? Well, Wikipedia says: "Socialists mainly share the belief that capitalism unfairly concentrates power and wealth among a small segment of society that controls capital, and creates an unequal society. All socialists advocate the creation of an egalitarian society, in which wealth and power are distributed more evenly..."

Obama to Joe the Plumber: "spread the wealth". Obama also wants to tax oil company's excessive profits. Rep. Barney Frank: "Yes, I believe later on there should be tax increases. Speaking personally, I think there are a lot of very rich people out there whom we can tax at a point down the road and recover some of this money." "There should be a moratorium on bonuses..."

As a VC who wants his entrepreneurs to be driven for profit, you should be scared by people who arbitrarily claim that you've made too much money and that they, not you, should determine who gets your "windfall" profits.

Those who claim to know better than you how much money you should be making sure sound like socialists to me!

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